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May 31, 2011

Table of Contents

Video Tutorials: Using Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium—NEW TUTORIAL ADDED!
Review: Canon XF105 4:2:2 HD Camcorder
Canon Announces Availability Dates for 5 New EF Lenses
Switronix and Zacuto Announce DSLR Rig Collaboration
Createasphere Launches Adobe Road Show Focused on CS5.5 Production Premium
Digital Rapids to Feature TouchStream 2.0 Live Streaming Appliance at InfoComm 2011
DAZ 3D Debuts Studio 4 Free Hobbyist 3D Animation Tool
Flanders Scientific Inc (FSI) Launches New 17" Field Monitor
Matrox Graphics Unveils Avio Series KVM Extenders
Panasonic Launches New SDHC Line Boasting 90MB/sec Transfer Time

Video Tutorials: Using Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium—NEW TUTORIAL ADDED!

Adobe Photoshop Content AwareAdobe Premiere Pro Merge ClipsAdobe Medie Encoder CS5.5Roundrip Pro Audio Editing in Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Adobe After Effects CS5.5 Warp StabilizerAdobe Encore CS5.5

CLICK THE THUMBNAILS ABOVE TO GO DIRECTLY TO A TUTORIAL ON VIMEO!

Kicking off EventDV.tv's new series of video tutorials exploring key new features of Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium that are likely to have the most impact on event filmmakers' postproduction workflow, instructor extraordinaire Luisa Winters explains the ingenious audio/video sync functionality of Premiere Pro CS5.5's new Merge Clips feature, while video production, compression, and streaming expert Jan Ozer discusses the most powerful new elements of Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5. NEW TUTORIAL ADDED: USING PHOTOSHOP'S CONTENT AWARE FILL WITH AFTER EFFECTS—Adobe certified trainer Luisa Winters explains how to remove unwanted elements from video clips using Photoshop's ingenious Content Aware Fill feature in conjunction with After Effects to make it appear as if those elements were never there. Go to page 2 to see Jan Ozer's Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5 tutorial. Go to page 3 to see Jan Ozer's Roundtrip Pro Audio Editing with Adobe Audition and Premiere Pro CS5.5 tutorial. Go to page 4 to see Shawn Lam's Stabilize Your Footage with After Effects Warp Stabilizer tutorial. SEE MORE OF EVENTDV ON VIMEO

USING PHOTOSHOP'S CONTENT AWARE FILL WITH AFTER EFFECTS

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Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

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SYNCING AUDIO AND VIDEO USING PREMIERE PRO CS5.5'S NEW MERGE CLIPS FEATURE
BY LUISA WINTERS

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Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

 

 

 

Click here to go to Page 2 and view Jan Ozer's tutorial, Using Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5

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WHAT'S NEW ADOBE MEDIA ENCODER CS5.5? BY JAN OZER

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Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

ROUNDTRIP PRO AUDIO EDITING WITH ADOBE AUDITION AND ADOBE PREMIERE PRO CS5.5 BY JAN OZER

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SEE MORE GREAT TUTORIALS ON ADOBE CS5.5 PRODUCTION PREMIUM

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Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

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SEE MORE OF EVENTDV ON VIMEO

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Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium

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Review: Canon XF105 4:2:2 HD Camcorder

Canon XF105Canon's second pair of MXF camcorders, the XF105 and XF100, shrink the size but keeps most of the features of their big brothers, the XF305 and XF305. As a follow-up to our review of the XF300 last October, here we'll take an in-depth look at the XF105. With the ability to customize the colorimetry of most any camcorder these days, what else does the XF105 bring to the production table? Among its many selling points are 50Mbps 4:2:2 recording, good audio control, and plenty of ways to directly access the most used features while you are shooting. Does the XF105 strike a good balance between "big features" and a "small camcorder?" Let's find out.

A True Pro Camcorder
When I reviewed the XF300, I was very impressed by the features, and the low-light performance the big lens provided in a mid-sized pro camcorder in the XL H1 tradition. The dramatically smaller XF100/105 is still a professional camcorder through and through- not a souped-up version of a consumer camcorder, which all the major manufacturers also offer.

The key differences between the XF100 and the XF105 are the addition of two BNC jacks on the XF105, which offer HD-SDI output and timecode/genlock capability. The XF300 and XF305 are distinguished by the same jacks. I had an XF105, but everything I tested applies to the XF100.

Moreover, with today's push for 3D, the XF100/105 also introduces the ability to use the optical image stabilizer as a 3D interocular adjustment for using two XF100/105s together. Unfortunately, I received only one of these camcorders so I was not able to test the 3D production capabilities of the XF105. But Canon has also offered an upgrade to the XF300/305 to enable those camcorders to do the same thing. This demonstrates the ability of these camcorders to be enabled with new features, and that Canon stands behind the XF series as professional production tools.

Hardware
When I took the diminutive XF105 out of the box, I was surprised both by how small it is, but how solid it feels in my hand. Even "suited up" at less than 3 lbs., it's clear this is not a consumer toy. The XLR/mic head is well thought out, the top handle features both a cold shoe and a 1/4"-20 thread hole for accessories. The eyepiece on the back makes the camcorder usable in bright situations, but I was not satisfied with the resolution (260,000 pixels), or the clarity of the viewfinder optics. The 920,000-pixel LCD screen, however, is beautiful. If you can use the glossy screen without glare issues, it offers excellent clarity and detail and copious camera information, which you can, of course, customize in the menus.

Canon XF105

The XF105's beautiful 920,000-pixel LCD screen

The XF105 features no fewer than 10 "numbered" user-assignable buttons, and an additional user-customizable button/dial combo. In addition, the single ring around the lens can be set for focus, zoom, or iris. Add to this the 26 other buttons and switches on the camera's compact body (not counting two zoom rockers) and you see that Canon has applied its experience making pro camcorders extends to this little guy. And as with the XF300, Canon has ditched the "mode dial" from its design vernacular, and that's a good thing.

Along the bottom left edge of the camcorder are separate buttons that make it easy to engage manual functions, as needed, while shooting. From front to back, you can toggle focus, iris, gain, shutter, and white balance. This is a capability I've always loved in the Sony camcorders I've had: I can be in the middle of a shot and tap any button to let the camera help me out. This simply wasn't possible with Canon's mode dial.

On the back edge you can toggle image stabilization, zebra, and a waveform scope. These back edge buttons, though labeled, can be changed to something you find you need more. The only issue I have with the customizability is that it applies to only a small selection of features that the camera offers. The list of customizable features includes Image Stabilizer, Powered IS, Focus Limit, Face AF, Select Face, Backlight, Spotlight, Tele-converter, peaking, zebra, WFM, magnification, TL-H58 (telephoto lens), WD-H58W (wide-angle lens), color bars, IR monochrome, IR light, markers, LCD setup, LCD/VF B&W, onscreen display, shot mark 1, shot mark 2, add OK mark, add check mark, timecode, timecode hold, audio output channel, audio level, wireless controller, photo, delete last clip, and status.

One other nit I have to pick concerns the little media doors. While the I/O ports have nice rubber covers, and the overall feel of the camcorder is pretty rugged, the little plastic doors that cover the CF cards, and the SD card, do not instill the same feeling of durability or protection. There are visible gaps around the doors where water, dust, dirt, other debris can get into the important electronic areas of the camcorder. This just seems out of place on what is otherwise a very solid-feeling camera. I expected rubber-gasketed doors with a solid seal when closed.

The XF105's handgrip is great. It's big and solid. But even with the decent 2450 mAh battery, the lens and XLR housing pulled the weight of the grip forward. Add a wide-angle or telephoto lens and you will certainly feel the torque on your wrist over time. Just once, I'd like to see a camcorder come "back-heavy" so that when we add a lens, barn doors, XLR accessories, a light, and so forth, it then becomes balanced.

There's a bevy of I/O on this little camcorder: In addition to the XF105's HD/SD-SDI, and Genlock/TC BNC jacks, both the XF100 and XF105 have HDMI out, XLR audio and 1/8" audio inputs, Component out, Composite AV out, USB I/O, and a remote jack that is LANC-compatible. More on the USB jack later.

Lastly, Canon offers add-on hardware accessories including a replacement screw thread plate, and the add-on Tripod Adapter TA-100. The company has offered this on many of their pro camcorders for years, and I think it's a worthwhile investment because it mates with the front of the slide-in plate for many other professional on-shoulder camcorders—enabling secure, solid, and fast lockdown of the camcorder. I find this much more reassuring than a single 1/4"-20 threaded bolt.

Lens
The XF105's integrated 10x lens does well. It's nowhere near as big and impressive as the XF300's 18x light-sucking hunk of glass, but it does pretty well on its own. The major limiting factor here is the 10x zoom factor. Aside from Canon's 3x wide lens for the XL series camcorders, I think this 10x is one of the shortest zoom lenses Canon has put into a professional camcorder.

Canon XF105

The XF105's integrated 10x lens

Though it is 30mm-304mm in 35mm terms, I've seen smaller camcorders offer longer reach (Panasonic's 16x DVC30 comes to mind). But I'm sure that Canon struck the best balance possible between the optical quality and size constraints. For shooters who must have a larger lens, there's the much larger XF300.

But what the XF105's lens lacks in reach, it makes up for in capability. Canon augments the normal optical image stabilization with a "powered" mode, and it's amazing. Handheld shots zoomed all the way in look like tripod shots with the Powered IS.

Canon XF105

Along the bottom left edge of the camcorder are handy buttons that make it easy to engage manual functions while shooting, including Iris, Gain, and Shutter.

The camcorder's light gathering ability is also good. Starting at f1.8, it scales smoothly up to f2.8 at the telephoto end. It revealed no portholing in my use-meaning this zoom range avoids the pitfalls of serious image degradation if they tried to push it to a 12x or 14x.

The XF105 features several autofocus modes as well as a full manual (servo) mode. But most interesting is that the autofocus allows manual override. By this I mean that when I was shooting B-roll and the camcorder picked the wrong item to focus on, I just grabbed the focus ring and twisted it to focus on what I waned to see sharply. No need to toggle between manual and auto. This is very convenient and much appreciated.

When I enabled the colored "peaking" to clearly define what was in focus, I was able to tone the color down from the default and this enabled me to see, with red highlights, what was in crisp focus according to the camcorder. Unless you're looking at the image pixel for pixel on a fairly big external monitor, any little LCD monitor will give you only an approximation of what is actually in focus. Only the image-processing chip in the camera knows for sure where the sharpest contrast is, and the Peaking effect lets that chip tell you where the focus is.

To provide a point of comparison from elsewhere in the prosumer HD camcorder world, I pitted the XF105 against my Sony HDR-FX1. In the resolution test, I pointed both cameras at a well-lit resolution chart. Unfortunately, what the two cameras showed on their LCD monitors, and what they actually recorded, was slightly different, so the images do not match precisely. But you couldn't compare the two cameras' resolution anyway since HDV-based FX1 records less resolution, only 1440x1080-compared to the XF-105's 1920x1080-and with half the XF105's 50Mbps data rate.

But you can still glean several things from this chart. First is that the XF105, while using a considerably smaller lens than the FX1, does leverage the full-resolution chip and higher data rate to record more real resolution. The CMOS-based XF-105's rendering of the horizontal and vertical plumes is not only cleaner and crisper, it extends further and then fades nicely into a wash of gray.

Canon XF105

Resolution chart comparing the 1920x1080 CMOS HD footage from the XF105 with 1440x1080 CCD HDV footage

There's little to no color fringing in either image, and only the circles in the bottom right show moire rearing its ugly head-with the diagonal portion of the circle lines on the XF105's CMOS chip, and with the vertical portion of the circle lines on the FX1's CCD. The CCD's problem is also clear in the top-right test: The tightest vertical lines get the color moire treatment.

The XF105's CMOS chip does show rolling shutter as demonstrated by similar fast pans executed on both cameras. I had to increase the shutter on each camera to 1/250 in order to get a crisper shot because the image at 1/60 was just a blur. While the CMOS chip does "slant the truth," the distortion is not excessive-meaning that you have to work a bit to make it happen.

You can also take note of the fast image change wreaking havoc with the HDV compression in the top half of the image. The top part of the fence is riddled with compression artifacts. There's excessive color blocking in the green of the tree as well. In the lower portion of the comparison image, you can see that doubling the data rate for the MPEG-2 stream to 50Mbps does wonders for the image. There's a fine grain to the XF100's image, but it more looks like film grain and there's no JPEG blockiness that I can see.

Canon XF105

Fast-pan comparison between CCD-based HDV from the FX1 and CMOS-based HD from the XF105

Audio

The XF105's built-in stereo head also has two XLR jacks and a bevy of audio adjustments for auto or manual adjustment, line level, mic level, and phantom power, and the ability to individually select the built-in microphone or the XLR jack for each channel. There is more audio adjustment in the menu system. Metering was conveniently shown on the LCD, and there's a dedicated headphone jack in addition to AV, HDMI, and SDI outputs.

The best part is that this camcorder, barely larger than a DSLR, outputs video on all four outputs simultaneously. You can also enable and disable the onscreen data as you see fit. You can manually set the component and SDI to HD or SD. However, HDMI settings are negotiated with the monitor you connect. If the HDMI goes to SD, the SDI will also be SD. When converting from HD to SD, you can choose Squeeze, Letterbox, or Side Crop. The conversion setting appears to be one setting for all SD outputs.

The XF105 conveniently allows you to individually choose your audio, like a wireless external input on Channel 1 and the built-in mic on Channel 2. But if you plug any audio into the 1/8" jack, that's all you get. The entire XLR/built-in mic block on the camcorder is cut off. With such a small camcorder, I was hoping for individual channel flexibility without having to use big XLR plugs and cables. That wasn't the case. So I brought the XLR adapter for my wireless mic, and a wired lav. Though it looked a little funny with all that stuff hanging off the front of the handle, the PCM audio the XF105 recorded was clean and clear.

Canon XF105

Selectable audio channels on the XF105

The menus let you activate a limiter so hot signals won't clip into distortion. You can even boost or pad the native sensitivity of the jacks ±12dB. You can set one input to go to both channels, so you can record one input at two levels (further protecting it from clipping, or a high noise floor). And, lastly, because the video you see on the camcorder's LCD screen is delayed from real life because of compression time, the XF105 lets you delay the audio you hear so it is in sync with the image on the camcorder's screen, or you can leave it alone so you don't hear an echo from what's occurring in the room.

The other audio issue that bugged me was that adjusting headphone audio level is buried in the menus. Assigning a button to that task means you merely call up that menu. Then you have to move your hand around the camcorder and use the 4-way pointer on the LCD screen to actually adjust the volume up or down. This is unnecessarily convoluted.

When I delved into this further, I found that there is no physical volume control for the headphone monitor output by default. I could assign the small front dial to be the volume control, but that would leave me without a dedicated iris control. I could switch the focus ring to iris control, but then I would lose manual focus. It's an annoying "give and take" that could be avoided.

Volume control is already assignable, so it would be great to have the ability to assign "volume up" and "volume down" to individual buttons of my choice. Since there are 6 assignable buttons that come empty, there are plenty to choose from. This way, I keep my separate iris control, separate focus on the lens ring, zoom on the rocker. And, without ever entering a menu, I could tap button 7 to turn up the volume and button 10 to lower it. In the "deck control" button area, button 7 is right over 10. They are easy to find by feel, and direct manipulation makes it easy to adjust what I hear.

Lastly, even with Sony V6 over-the-ear headphones, I could not get the headphone volume appreciably louder than the room audio coming direct to my ears. Even at its maximum, the headphone volume is just not loud enough for my tastes. If you're in a noisy situation and trying to critically assess the audio from a distant wireless lav, you'd better get some sound isolating, in-ear headphones.

Menus
The XF105 has a comprehensive menu system that bears a lot of resemblance to the one in the XF300/305. This is another example of the XF100/105's pro-camcorder lineage, as opposed to other small camcorders, which grow up from consumer camcorders, and get a few professional features grafted onto the existing menus. Those hybrid menu systems are confusing and often make you change settings in two different places. In particular, when I reviewed the JVC HM100 in February 2010, I found that format changes forced you to reboot the camera. The Canon XF105 let me change the camera to any format, frame rate, or data rate and, in the blink of an eye, it was ready to shoot.

Speaking of blinking eyes, one menu item that caught my eye is the face detection. Just like with still cameras, a box appears around a face that the camera recognizes and the camcorder focuses on that face. Considering how much video primarily shows people talking, this is a fantastic feature. I've enabled it, it works, and I leave it on.

Canon XF105

The XF105's face detection feature

That's just one of several innovative features in this little camcorder. Another is the ability to simultaneously record your footage onto two different CF cards at the same time. This is excellent for the freelance shooter who needs to hand off footage as soon as the shoot is done, or on a big shoot where having a backup is critical. It takes a moment to get used to both CF activity lights going red for record, but it soon becomes comforting. And there's no external box required to do it-how's that for convenience?

You can also shoot at a different frame rate than you record. So if you want slow motion, you can shoot 720p60 at 50Mbps, but record that into a 720p24 file. This gives you clean, in-camera, true slow motion. Unfortunately, the p60-to-p24 conversion is possible only when shooting 1280x720, not 1920x1080. You can also shoot as few as 12 frames per second; this may come in handy for those who are shooting the next pirates movie and want their swashbuckling hero to appear to fence faster than he did while doing it safely in front of the camera.

I used this camcorder on a NASA-TV shoot in Florida. I was far from the office, but I expected to shoot only 30 minutes of interviews and some B-roll. So I brought only the battery for power. The launch was scrubbed, and there was a press conference. I had the opportunity to download the NASA-TV conference about the scrubbed launch to my camcorder as a HD QuickTime file. I connected the camcorder to the computer on site and was stymied to find that unless the AC was connected to the camcorder, I couldn't write data to the media cards, only read them. There ought to be a menu item to defeat this protection when I really need it in the field.

Image
In terms of in-camera color profiles, I counted a boggling 77 adjustable items for white balance, black balance, noise reduction, color matrix, skin detail, sharpness, knee, and the like. Truth be told, I'd expect most people either to find a basic setting they like right out of the camcorder, or find a "flat" profile on the web and load it into the camera for heavy grading in post. If you want to try to grade your footage in-camera, you can, but I think it's quite possibly the most difficult way to do it. There's so much good software to do this so easily in post-and what's more, with this approach you really utilize the full 4:2:2 data you are collecting in camera.

I tested the XF105's 4:2:2, 50Mbps stream in a very simple way: I exposed a face brighter and brighter until most cameras would have been clipping the skin tones, and then I did some simple grading in post to bring the face back down to normal levels. Compared to 4:2:0 HDV, would the XF handle the "crush" better, and would the 4:2:2 recording give me more color detail to recover the face out of the highlights?

Well, I think the results speak for themselves. Not only did the skin tones not crush, as is typical of HDV camcorders in this price range, but when I graded the blown face back to 65 IRE, it fared many times better than did the same face shot on HDV. Sure, the XF105 is no Alexa, RED, or F23. But it is a complete 50Mbps 4:2:2, full HD camcorder priced at $3,000. The only thing that may beat it is a DSLR, but I think DSLR users know that by the time they add the accessories to do what this camcorder does out of the box, they've blown well past $3,000.

Canon XF105

Image comparison of 4:2:0 HDV footage from the FX1 and 4:2:2 HD footage from the XF105 at 86 IRE, graded to 66 IRE

What the XF100/105 and XF300/305 don't provide is that shallow depth of field that many independent moviemakers crave to give them the "feature film" look. While Canon was the company that pushed DSLR filmmaking with the release of the 5D Mark II in early 2009, only Sony and Panasonic have put large chips into new camcorders. Canon is eerily quiet. We can only hope that this means that there will be a high-end XF camcorder that features a DSLR chip, with all the other camcorder features we need, without requiring to add on a half-dozen accessories to make it just as usable for field production.

Conclusion
Aside from the 10x lens, the XF105 features everything I'd want in a camcorder I'd purchase to replace my HDV field production gear. I've been facilitating quick-turnaround shoots with an external FireStore recorder, and keeping the HDV tape as the archive till the project was finished editing and delivered. But now with dual in-camera media recording (now also available in the XF300/305 with a firmware upgrade), these camcorders deliver full HD recording, all HD formats, in-camera fast and slow motion recording, and dual flash media recording.

The instant and easy access to toggle between manual and automatic for focus, iris, gain, shutter, and white balance all along one line on the camcorder is something I've long become used to. Add the amazing Powered IS, zebra, waveform, and all the other features I mentioned in such a compact package as the XF105-all without burying the battery inside a door like the XF300/305-and I'm sold.

If it weren't for all this HDV tape I have archived ... you'd see my HDV camcorder on eBay before this review even goes to print.

Anthony Burokas (VidPro at ieba.com) of IEBA Communications has shot award-winning corporate video internationally and recorded events since the days of 3/4" tape. He is currently technical director for the PBS series Flavors of America and resides just outside of Dallas.

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Canon Announces Availability Dates for 5 New EF Lenses

Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today announced updated availability dates for five of its EF lenses.
  • Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is scheduled to be available in late July 2011
  • Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is scheduled to be available in late August 2011
  • Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens is scheduled to be available in late August 2011
  • Canon EF 500mm F4L IS II USM lens is scheduled to be available in December 2011
  • Canon EF 600mm F4L IS II USM lens is also scheduled to be available in December 2011


Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens
With its unique focal length range, the EF 8-15mm f/4L USM is the world’s widest fisheye zoom lens. It delivers 180-degree diagonal angle of view images for all EOS SLR cameras with imaging formats ranging from full-frame to APS-C, and provides 180-degree circular fisheye images for full-frame EOS models. Professional photographers and cinematographers will revel in the unique perspectives afforded to them through this lens, particularly when coupled with the highly popular full-frame EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera.

The Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM lens is expected to be available in late July for an estimated retail price of $1,399.

Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens
The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the sixth generation of a venerable family of Canon 300mm f/2.8 lenses that began in 1974, and have become famous for their exceptional sharpness, contrast and color fidelity. Ideal for a wide range of applications ranging from professional photojournalism and sports photography to nature and wildlife, Canon’s 300mm f/2.8 lenses have always led the industry with new technical advances in every generation. The EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens carries on this tradition with improved image quality, lighter weight, improved Image Stabilization and enhanced durability, making it a great option for handheld work in the field. The optical formula of the new lens has been upgraded with the inclusion of two fluorite lens elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by 8 percent to 82.9 oz., making it the lightest weight lens in the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 series.

The Canon EF 300mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in late August for an estimated retail price of $6,599.

Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM lens
Quintessential for many sports assignments including baseball, football, soccer and golf, Canon’s professional 400mm f/2.8 lenses provide the light-gathering capability and long telephoto reach that photographers need to freeze the action and fill the frame. The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM is the fifth generation in Canon’s 400mm f/2.8 series and the successor to the current EF 400mm introduced in 1999. The new lens has been engineered for the ultimate in optical performance through the use of two fluorite lens elements for improved quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by a substantial 28 percent from 189.4 oz to 135.8 oz, making it Canon’s lightest weight 400mm f/2.8 lens ever.

The Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L IS USM lens is expected to be available in late August for an estimated retail price of $10,499.

Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM Lens for Sports and Nature Photography
The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM offers professional photographers a lighter weight option for those situations that require a long focal length with improved image quality and enhanced durability over its predecessor. Great for a wide range of applications, the EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens is ideal for professional photojournalism, sports photography and nature and wildlife photography. The optical formula of the new lens has been enhanced to include two fluorite lens elements for improved image quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by 18 percent from 136.5 oz to 112.5 oz.

The Canon EF 500mm f/4L IS II USM lens is expected to be available in December for an estimated retail price of $9,499.

Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM Lens for Wildlife and Photojournalism
The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM is the successor to the current EF 600mm IS lens first introduced in 1999. This new lens has been engineered for outstanding optical performance and durability and includes two new fluorite lens elements for improved quality and reduced chromatic aberration. Helping photographers in the field, Canon has reduced the overall weight of the lens by a substantial 27 percent from 189.1 oz to 138.3 oz.

The Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM lens is expected to be available in December for an estimated retail price of $11,999.

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Switronix and Zacuto Announce DSLR Rig Collaboration

Switronix and Zacuto will continue their successful collaborative relationship working on cutting-edge DSLR rig setups. Both companies are leading brands in the DSLR community and have been working together since 2005.

WHAT SWITRONIX BRINGS TO THE RIGS:
Switronix has helped reenergize this collaboration through the release of their new Powerbase-70 PRO, a versatile new V-Mount battery compatible with major camcorders including the Panasonic AG-AF100 and CGR style cameras, Canon 5D, 7D, 60D, T2i, T3i, T3 and BP style cameras, and Sony L-Series, EX and F3 camcorders. Depending on the camera model, the PB-70 PRO can double or even triple a camera's runtime compared to OEM batteries.

WHAT ZACUTO BRINGS TO THE RIGS:
Zacuto's recent introduction of their multi-purpose Zwiss Plate presents a sleek mounting option allowing users to mount articulating arms, rods, batteries, converter boxes and various other camera accessories to your support system. Users can utilize the Zwiss Plate to mount a variety of accessories or brick style batteries and battery plates. The Zwiss Plate works with both 3-Stud and V-Mount style batteries, including Switronix's Powerbase-70 (see photograph below).

"Jens Bogehegn, Steve Weiss & Mandy Rogers are truly innovators in the DSLR community," says Switronix product specialist Ross Kanarek. "We are extremely proud to have this relationship with Zacuto and look forward to working with them on exciting new rigs for DSLR shooters."

ABOUT SWITRONIX
Over the past decade, Switronix has established itself as one of the most prominent suppliers of batteries and charging solutions in the professional film and video industry. Switronix's line also includes superior LED lighting, camera supports, converter cables, and accessories. For more information about Switronix, please visit http://www.switronix.com or follow @Switronix on Twitter.

ABOUT ZACUTO
Zacuto, located in Chicago, is known for their "Made in the USA" brand of high-quality designed camera accessories. Zacuto Films produces original programming and just recently won a 2010 Emmy Award for one of their webisodic programs: The Great Camera Shootout 2010. For more information, visit http://www.zacuto.com

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Createasphere Launches Adobe Road Show Focused on CS5.5 Production Premium

Bringing together the best of the creative, production and technology communities in a dynamic experience - Createasphere has announced June dates for the Adobe® Creative Suite® 5.5 Production Premium Road Show, with stops in L.A., S.F. and N.Y.C.

Road Show attendees will learn about new features introduced in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium as well as get insight on ground-breaking workflows such as native editing of DSLR footage and working with other NLEs. Adobe video experts will host the free, in-depth seminars and each venue will include a keynote presentation from Jim Guerard, Vice President and General Manager for Professional Video at Adobe.

Createasphere's Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium Road Show will begin in Los Angeles and then head to San Francisco and New York City in June. Dates and locations include:
  • June 2 - Los Angeles, LA Film School, 5-9 p.m.
  • June 14 - San Francisco, Adobe Headquarters, 4-9 p.m.
  • June 21 - New York City, The New Yorker Hotel, 4-9 p.m.


Adobe CS5.5 Production Premium delivers breakthrough, cross-platform performance and is the leading video production suite that enables video professionals to produce top-notch work by offering true native editing of file-based formats and a distinctively efficient post-production workflow.

Guerard's keynote presentation will discuss how high-performance video production software is helping a new breed of filmmakers - whom Adobe calls "Digital Mavericks" - produce their best work more quickly than ever before. He'll explore some of the game-changing innovations introduced in Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium that are addressing and helping to overcome challenges users are facing in the production and broadcast industries, and how Adobe is equipped to help video professionals meet those demands-now and in the future.

The Road Show is sponsored by Blackmagic Design, Matrox, MAXON, PROMISE Technology, Drobo, G-Technology, HP, JMR, NVIDIA, and PNY. It is one of many educational initiatives by Createasphere to offer indispensable career development to professionals working in the world of content creation driven by cutting-edge technology.

A Grand Prize drawing and giveaways will be raffled throughout the evening. Space is limited. For information and registration, visit http://www.adoberoadshow.com.

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Digital Rapids to Feature TouchStream 2.0 Live Streaming Appliance at InfoComm 2011

Digital Rapids will be showcasing the new 2.0 version of the award-winning TouchStream portable encoding and live streaming appliance at the upcoming InfoComm 2011 exhibition. The version 2.0 update adds support for the Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager multi-encoder management software, enabling comprehensive remote monitoring, management and control of multiple TouchStream units from a centralized location. Additional new features in the TouchStream 2.0 upgrade include enhancements to HTTP Live Streaming for Apple(r) iPhone(r) and iPad(tm) devices and improved Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming capabilities.

TouchStream appliances deliver Digital Rapids' superior output quality and reliability in a portable form factor with unparalleled ease of use. Operations are performed through an intuitive touch-screen interface with integrated video monitoring, eliminating the need for laptops, keyboards, mice and separate monitors. Flexible features allow refinement of the incoming source and the addition of branding to the outgoing stream, while support for multiple output formats provides easy adaptability to varying project requirements. TouchStream appliances are available in standard definition and HD models with a comprehensive selection of output configurations to reach viewing devices from mobile phones and tablets to personal computers and IPTV set-top boxes. TouchStream appliances are ideal for on-location live streaming of events such as concerts and sporting matches; educational activities; corporate and government communications; worship services; courtroom proceedings and more.

The Digital Rapids Broadcast Manager software provides enterprise-class automation, management, monitoring and fault tolerance for multiple live streaming encoders. Advanced scheduling capabilities offer the flexibility of using of a different set of encoding parameters for each scheduled task. A 'control room' view for multi-channel confidence monitoring complements the individual local video display on each TouchStream unit. Additional features include failover (automatically switching to a backup encoder if necessary); individual and group encoder management; and control of third-party video routers for automated source signal selection.

"The new Broadcast Manager support simplifies the management of TouchStream appliances for both small and large-scale applications, from remotely administrating one or more TouchStream units in the field to streamlining the use of multiple TouchStream units in environments such as universities," said Wesley Thiessen, Product Manager, Enterprise at Digital Rapids. "Broadcast Manager is already used to manage hundreds of live streaming channels powered by our StreamZ Live encoder family for some of the world's largest media organizations and events, and we're pleased to be bringing its robust capabilities to TouchStream users."

TouchStream and other Digital Rapids solutions -- including the StreamZHD live and on-demand encoding system and Digital Rapids C2 secure, accelerated data delivery software -- will be demonstrated in booth number 2378 at the 2011 InfoComm exhibition, June 15-17 in Orlando, Florida. For more information about Digital Rapids, please visit www.digitalrapids.com.

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DAZ 3D Debuts Studio 4 Free Hobbyist 3D Animation Tool

DAZ 3D has introduced DAZ Studio 4, the latest version of DAZ 3D's character creation, art and animation tool. DAZ Studio 4 makes the creation process fun, while setting the new standard for 3D figure design tools by introducing the Genesis™ figure platform.

"We're excited to share our new technology as it provides a fun and easy-to-use platform for both our hobbyist and professional customers who want to create high-quality graphics," said Dan Farr, CEO of DAZ 3D. DAZ Studio 4 provides an advanced platform for versatile 3D human models. This platform is the basis for the new Genesis series of figures from DAZ 3D. The Genesis series allows for a virtually limitless set of figure variations that can all be built from a common base. These variations can range in both size and proportion while sharing a single joint system.

"Everything from muscle-bound freaks and curvy super-heroines, to toon-style kids or frightfully disgusting monsters can all be created and combined together in infinite combinations, limited only by the artist's imagination, to form a completely new custom 3D model," explains Dan Farr.

DAZ Studio 4 utilizes a new file format that is lightweight, easy to transfer and exists in an open format for easy editing. No longer satisfied with the inherent constraints of building upon a third-party platform, DAZ 3D established a new, open platform. DAZ 3D has also announced that they will support any other vendors that offer this file format within their tools.

Key DAZ Studio 4 features include:
  • TriAx™ Weight-Map System: Artists now have unparalleled flexibility with our patent-pending weight-map per-axis joint system.
  • Auto-Rigging: Artists can now take the base Genesis mesh and push or pull it into virtually anything imaginable. Both proportions and mass of the figure can be altered in a variety of ways. DAZ Studio 4 automatically adjusts the Genesis base skeletal rig to fit within the new shape. http://bit.ly/m0QhAz
  • Auto-Fit Plug-in: This tool, available separately, allows customers to up-convert clothes and hairstyles from DAZ 3D's prior generation of figures for use with the new Genesis series so that their past investments are protected. http://bit.ly/im8s9S
  • Smart Content: This new content tells DAZ Studio 4 what type of asset it is, and what other assets are compatible with it. DAZ Studio 4, in turn, can then filter out anything that's not compatible with what the artist is working on.
  • Content Management Service (CMS): This allows customers to easily find their content by keyword, category and/ or compatibility by using a standard meta-data structure. http://bit.ly/iut1Vg


Pricing and Availability
DAZ Studio 4 is available now for free download in both Macintosh and Windows formats. The Auto-Fit plug-in is priced at $99.95 and both are available via the DAZ 3D website at http://www.daz3d.com/studio.

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Flanders Scientific Inc (FSI) Launches New 17" Field Monitor

Flanders Scientific, Inc. is pleased to announce the official launch of the new LM-1760WF Field Unit. This lightweight 17" Monitor is a modified version of the LM-1760W designed specifically for field use. The standard LM-1760W is a 24VDC unit, but the LM-1760WF supports 12VDC directly without the need for an external 12V to 24V DC adapter making it the ideal choice for applications requiring efficient battery powered monitoring.

The unit is also equipped with a standard AC power connection (100~240VAC) for hassle free use on AC power when available.

In addition to 12VDC power connectivity the LM-1760WF also comes packaged for field use with the following items at no additional charge:
  • Carrying Bag with Integrated Hood (CBH17): 1760WFCan be used in both a desktop or light stand configuration for maximum versatility on set. Moreover, the combined weight of the monitor and carrying bag is only 17.5lbs...that is about the same weight as many 17" production monitors by themselves. Made of durable cordura and ballistic nylon the interior of the bag helps protect the monitor with foam padding and a single piece honeycomb frame. The built in 4 sided hood assists in providing shade for viewing and the adjustable back leg can be adjusted for optimal tilt or lifted to allow the monitor to be mounted on a light stand while leaving the bag attached for protection and shade.
  • 2 x Clear Protective Covers (CPC17): These clear protective panel covers can be attached to the front of the monitor via simple hook and loop fastener strips. These covers help protect the LCD panel from objects that may otherwise cause damage or bruising to the LCD panel. The clear protective covers are made of high quality optical grade acrylic that is scratch resistant and two panel covers are provided so you always have a spare panel cover ready in case one becomes damaged.
  • VESA to Light Stand Adapter: This durable VESA to 5/8" spigot light stand adapter provides for quick and easy mounting on a light stand. The VESA adapter is lightweight but extremely strong and features two pivot points for maximum adjustability. Best of all this adapter can be left attached even when not in use as it folds inside of the carrying bag, which means no tools are required to quickly transition from transport, to desktop, to light stand configurations.


You get the monitor and all of the above accessories for just $2,795

A truly incredible value for a versatile field monitor that comes with all of the advanced scope modes and ancillary features you expect from an FSI monitor. Learn more here: http://www.shopfsi.com/FSI_17_12VDC_Field_Unit_p/lm-1760wf.htm

New Battery Power Options for the LM-2461W
LM-2461W monitors can now be ordered with an AB or V-Mount Battery Plate

The 24" LM-2461W continues to be widely adopted at post facilities around the world, but an increasing number of operators are finding that the LM-2461W is also an ideal on set / field use monitor. At just 15.8lbs (without stand, 19.8lbs with stand), 50 Watts Power Consumption (@120cd/m2), and featuring a durable diecast aluminum frame the LM-2461W is one of the lightest full featured color critical 24" monitor solutions available on the market.

The LM-2461W comes equipped with both AC and 24VDC power connections, but now FSI is also offering two battery plate options for the LM-2461W. Customers purchasing an LM-2461W will be able to order an optional AB or V-Mount battery plate, which will be installed directly onto the chassis. Additionally, when ordered with one of these battery plates your LM-2461W will be converted from a 24VDC to a 12VDC unit so no external voltage adapters are required to power your monitor from standard 12V (11~14.4V) batteries.

10amp rated batteries are recommended for applications requiring high luminance output (170~350cd/m2) from the monitor, but even standard 6amp rated batteries are more than sufficient for operating the monitor at default settings. In its default configuration the LM-2461W only draws around 50Watts of power, easily making this 24" monitor as efficient as many 17" production monitors on the market. Learn more here: http://www.shopfsi.com/FSI_10bit_24_Inch_HD_Broadcast_Monitor_p/lm-2461w.htm

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Matrox Graphics Unveils Avio Series KVM Extenders

Matrox Graphics Inc. today unveils Matrox Avio™ Series, a new line of fiber optic KVM extenders for graphics intensive design and visualization applications within the process control, automotive, oil & gas, and government and military markets. The KVM extender transmitter/receiver pair enables users to secure the host computer in a climate-controlled machine room by capturing the system’s I/O functionality and extending it up to 1000 meters over a single fiber optic cable.

The feature-rich Avio Series supports uncompressed dual single-link DVI or one dual-link DVI video—at full resolution and frame rate—keyboard, mouse, stereo analog audio, and multiple USB HID and USB 2.0 peripherals, while making available a secondary user to access the host computer from the transmitter unit. Avio’s flexible design is compatible with Microsoft® Windows®, Mac OS X®, and Linux/Unix operating systems, allowing IT departments to standardize on one solution for enterprise-wide deployments.

Matrox will be showcasing the Matrox Avio technology at InfoComm 2011 in Booth 4063, from June 15-17, 2011.

"Matrox is pleased to unveil a new line of fiber optic KVM extender solutions designed to meet our customers' highest system performance and image quality requirements," said Caroline Injoyan, Business Development Manager at Matrox Graphics, Inc. "We've brought our expertise in video graphics technology and fiber optic extension into this product and engineered a high-bandwidth, plug and play solution that maintains system performance at the remote desktop—critical for any high-end workstation application."

Key Matrox Avio Series features:
  • Transmits keyboard, mouse, digital video, and analog audio signals up to 300m in multimode and 1000m in single-mode (optional upgrade)
  • Extends two DVI single-link video with maximum resolutions of 1920x1200 60Hz per display or one DVI dual-link video at 2560x2400 60Hz
  • Includes multiple USB HID ports for keyboard, mouse, and other HID devices
  • Transparent USB 2.0 support for high speed USB peripherals (up to 480Mbps)
  • DDC compliant and advanced EDID management ensure transparent communication between the system and the displays attached to the receiver unit
  • Easy to deploy: does not require any driver or software installation and is cross-platform compatible with Windows, Mac®, and Linux/Unix systems


Availability
The Matrox Avio Series fiber optic KVM extenders will be available in Q4 2011. For more information, visit http://www.matrox.com/avio_series_kvm_extenders or contact Matrox Graphics directly at graphics@matrox.com.

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Panasonic Launches New SDHC Line Boasting 90MB/sec Transfer Time

Panasonic Solutions Company today announced a new line of SD High Capacity (SDHC) full Class 10 UHS-1 (Ultra High Speed) Memory Cards with transfer rates of 90MBs, four-and-a-half times as fast as the previous generation of SDHC media. With storage capacities of 8GB, 16GB and 32GB, this new RP-SDB series of cards is faster, smarter and more robust than current SDHC media and has been fully optimized for professional use, notably with Panasonic’s broad AVCCAM line of affordable HD camcorders.

The new UHS-1 media facilitate offload speeds of as low as one-and-a-half minutes from the 8GB card, to three minutes from the 16GB card, and six minutes from the 32GB card. To achieve the SBD Series UHS-1’s media’s high-speed transfer, a user must have a computer embedded with USB 3.0 technology and equipped with either a Panasonic UHS-1 USB adapter or with an SDHC card slot that supports the UHS-1’s chip.

The SDB series incorporates a powerful Super Intelligent Controller System (SICS) that extends the archive shelf life of the card and its respective recordings, provides power failure protection, and controls the data writing to the card so that the entire card is used fully over its lifetime.

SICS automatically refreshes data because repeated playback of the same data without refreshing can introduce errors. This refreshing functionality optimizes data playback performance and has the effect of boosting archival life by a factor of 10. In the event of a power failure, SICS saves original data back to the card so there is no corruption or loss of material. SICS also equalizes the rewrite areas on the card so that data writing begins at the point where the previous recording ended, even on a reformatted card. This ensures that a card is totally used in one full rewrite cycle, which minimizes to the greatest extent possible the depletion of flash memory’s finite program-erase capacities.

These new professional UHS-1 cards deliver impressive Proof 5 durability encompassing resistance to water, shock, magnetization, X-rays and temperature extremes (cards are operable from -13 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit). Other valuable features exclusive to the SDB series include QR Code Tracking for archival location tracking and management of content, and free, downloadable AVCCAM File Recovery Software, compatible with Windows 7, XP and Mac.

Panasonic will also offer free Card Checker software that assesses professional UHS-1 media for remaining card life. Available for download next month, the Card Checker software is compatible with Windows 7, XP and Mac, and requires operation with a computer embedded with USB 3.0 technology and equipped with a Panasonic UHS-1 USB adapter. In addition, the SDB series carries a one-year warranty covering professional use of the card.

The 8GB, 16GB and 32GB SDB cards are immediately available at suggested list prices of $60, $129 and $245, respectively. The UHS-1 USB adapter (model BN-SDCMAB) is also available at a suggested list price of $60.
http://panasonic.com/broadcast

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